U.C Berkeley has been the scene of violent demonstrations for the second time in a month. This is after supporters of President Trump clashed with counter-protesters on Saturday. At least 10 individuals were arrested and seven others injured as a series of disturbances marred what was supposed to be a pro-Trump rally.
The incident underscores the heightened political tensions that have taken hold after President Trump took office. The violent protest that took place last month saw a scheduled appearance by conservative Milo Yiannopoulos canceled on the UC Berkeley campus. The protest sparked a national debate on the line between free speech and the right to demonstrate.
the March 4th Trump rally started at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park around 2 p.m. when Trump supporters marched several blocks but they met with a group of counter-demonstrators, and a fight break out.
Photos and videos have been posted on Twitter showing people punching each other and pulling hair. Several people in the crowd were pepper sprayed, including an elderly man.
Two people who had their faces covered up, were seen on video trying to set fire to an American flag. One of the demonstrators was a 23-year old student from Las Positas College in Livermore, who was on crutches. Amy Leona Masker said that her crutches came in handy when people started shoving, she and other students said that one of the Trump supporters wore a gas mask and a wooden shield was one of the pepper-sprayers.
The demonstrators said that there were several isolated fights that were taking place, but when they erupted, both sides of the groups tried to break them up.
Many of the participants in the rally called out on the anarchists in black, whose sole intent was to fight. One of the pro-Trump marcher told Bay Area newspaper that the anarchist behavior was the most immature and disgusting display of human interaction. They started a fight that they could not contain as the Trump supporters got the best of them.
Berkeley Police Officer Byron White said that 10 arrests were made: one for resisting arrest, four for assault with a deadly weapon, including dagger, and five for battery. The Police Department said that other groups such as the anarchists were present at the rally since they were aware of the rally and they had already prepared for it.
The pro-Trump rally was part of a nationwide effort to show support for the President and his America First policies. However, the anarchists tried to water down the rally by starting a fight they couldn’t finish. Some of the counter-protesters appeared to be members of the so-called black bloc, a group that UC Berkeley officials blamed for the chaos that erupted in U.C. Berkeley last month. The self-described anarchists or anti-fascists have left school and law enforcement officials struggling to cope with their ploys.
At least some of the counter-protesters appeared to be members of the so-called black bloc, a group that UC Berkeley officials blamed for many of the problems on campus last month. The name black bloc was used to describe the tight wedges of black-clad protesters in helmets and masks that appeared in Germany back in the 1970s.